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Tax Refund claims for home workers’ office equipment – how do you make a claim and what is it?

Want a refund without the hassle? Get in touch with us if you want us to complete the form for you.

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  • Millions who are now working from home are entitled to claim for certain items
  • This could include study chairs, desks and stationery, printer paper and ink
  • These claims are made through P87 forms which are given to the taxman 

HMRC has been 'inundated' with claims from employees working from home during lockdown who are taking advantage of little known tax relief for office desks, chairs and printer ink.

Millions of people who are now working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic are entitled to claim tax relief for items they say are 'wholly, exclusively and necessarily' to successfully do their job.

This could include study chairs, desks and stationery, printer paper and ink.  

Online furniture store Wayfair has noted a 200 per cent increase in searches for home office items in the UK in the past month, with desks, bookcases and office chairs becoming best-selling items

These claims which are made through P87 forms given to the taxman, were not commonly used before the pandemic and were only accessible if an employer agreed an employee was required to work from home and not just because they wanted to.   

But now the lockdown has opened the floodgates to claims, which could be worth hundreds of pounds of tax relief being paid back to employees. 

The amount of tax relief for office equipment will be the same as the level of income tax rate you earn at work. 

How to make a claim

If you are self-employed, you should claim for your working expenses as normal through a self-assessment tax return. 

If you're employed — and you have expenses of up to £2,500 per year — you should submit a P87 form. 

For bigger sums, you will also have to submit a tax return. 

A P87 form can be downloaded on the Government Gateway website and sent to HMRC online or by post.  

HMRC is likely to be very busy with claims so workers could claim online to save time. 

You have four years from the end of the tax year to make a claim. 

If it is successful, HMRC will pay you by cheque or adjust your tax code. You will not have to submit receipts with the P87, but keep them as HMRC may want to check them.

For example, a basic-rate taxpayer who claims £1,000 of allowable expenses will receive £200 - which is 20 per cent of what they spend on equipment.

If you are a higher vrate taxpayer (40%) and you buy £2500 in allowable working from home items - you could cliam a tax refund of £1000

Employers should watch out for people buying items for personal use as HMRC says items must be for employment duties - which is difficult to prove.   

Therefore purchases like clothing, broadband or a laptop won't be accepted by HMRC as they are used in every day life as well as work.   

HMRC told The Times it had no precise figures on the number of P87 claims it had received, but agreed that the volume had increased significantly.

Want a refund without the hassle? Get in touch with us if you want us to complete the form for you.

WHATSAPP US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS

Going to work in the UK? Tax refunds explained

If you're going to the UK to work it's important to know a few UK tax facts to make sure you don't end up losing your money.

When you start work in the UK you need to make sure you give your employer your National Insurance Number so you avoid paying emergency tax – which is much higher than the normal UK tax rates. Your National Insurance Number (NIN) is the unique number allocated to you by the Department for Work and Pension in the UK. It allows you to work, pay taxes and access public services in the UK.

PAYE and Self-employed tax

Once you start working you will need to pay UK tax either as a PAYE employee (if you're a receptionist, nurse or a teacher for example) or as self-employed person, such as a construction subcontractor.

If you are PAYE your employer should deduct tax from your earnings each time you get paid. If you are self-employed you are responsible for your own UK tax return called a self-assessment tax return. As a self-employed in the UK you can claim back work-related expenses such as work tools, transport and dry cleaning your work uniform.

If you've started work already in the UK you will be paying 20% income tax on earnings above £1830 and 40% on any earnings over £36,401.

Claim your UK taxes back

If you do end up on the wrong tax code and overpay tax in the UK, you can claim this money back once you leave the UK or when the tax year ends on April 5th. You have up to six years to claim any overpaid UK tax.

If you want to find out how much you could be owed, you can use a free online tax refund calculator. To claim your UK tax refund, you need to file a tax return. A tax return is the annual submission of tax forms documenting your earnings, taxes paid, deductable expenses and benefits that you send to the HM Revenue & Customs for review. From this information it is determined whether you have overpaid tax and are owed a tax refund.

The amount of your UK tax refund depends on factors like:

  • Your earnings
  • Your expenses
  • Whether you worked the whole tax year
  • If you had more than one job at a time or changed jobs
  • Whether you have children
  • If your circumstances changed, eg: you became self-employed
  • If you took a break during or between employments

When choosing a tax return company, we recommend that you select companies which:

  • Are HM Revenue & Customs registered agents
  • Have an office in the UK
  • Can guarantee that your tax refund will be 100% legal and safe

Cloud Accounting LLP

Cloud Accounting organises tax refunds for non-residents who work in the UK. We specialise in UK tax returns for PAYESelf-Employed and construction workers.

If you haven't set up your National Insurance Number yet, we can also help you with this.

Cloud Accounting customers get average UK tax refunds of £963 for PAYE and £1453 for construction workers' tax refunds.

CLOUD ACCOUNTING LLP

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